Fernando Muñoz of Grupo Raíz Digital about search engine optimization and digital marketing.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Fernando Muñoz: The only positive thing for which I am grateful to COVID 19 is for letting me spend more time with my family, although I undoubtedly believe that it is the only good thing.
We have lost too many people along the way, and not listening to what we were supposed to do, did not help to pass through this pandemic in a shortened time.
I hope that the vaccine helps us to calm down and to get back to a normal life.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Grupo Raíz Digital.
Fernando Muñoz: My specialty is search engine optimization (SEO). I was recognized for successful internet projects throughout Spain- according to those clients-, in sectors such as big portals, tourism, real estate, hospitality, training, services, online stores, big companies, and SMEs.
I am Computer Engineer from UAX and a Master in Search Engines from UPF.
I am also a co-founder of Grupo Raíz Digital, and I participate as a speaker and trainer in numerous talks and conferences on Online Marketing. Every year I train dozens of search engine optimization professionals with my SEO courses in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, and two of the most important masters on search engines in Spain.
About the foundation of Grupo Raíz Digital.
Fernando Muñoz: “When you can’t grow by yourself, take roots” was the leitmotif that this company, born in 2018, endorsed. We were a group of friends who started working on the Internet in 1998, 23 years ago. Today, in 2021, as Grupo Raíz Digital, we remain the same: a group of friends who work with roots.
Our years of experience working in online marketing made us consider a change in the way of working. Finally, serendipity closed the circle: different agencies with the same values and thoughts working for the common behalf of the clients decided to walk together. From that magical moment, Grupo Raíz Digital was born: we dreamed of being great and chose this journey that we are traveling.
How does Grupo Raíz Digital innovate?
Fernando Muñoz: Paid attention to the constant changes that involve our sector is an innovation himself. The objective is clear: do not stay behind in content marketing. And that was the reason to elaborate a battery of monitoring panels to catch the movements of the “monster of the internet.” What works and what doesn’t.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Fernando Muñoz: Before the pandemic, we were very exposed to consumption: hospitality, leisure…
The first months were very complicated; then, we turned to the field of EdTech, which positioned us in a comfortable place and gave us the possibility of waiting for former clients to get back with us. In between, some interesting clients showed up with specific needs as working the internet universe from zero. That was a complete challenge.
Finally, we realized that our results compared with 2019 were better, and we are facing this 2021 in a very interesting way meanwhile the economy it’s recovering.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Fernando Muñoz: We made an effort to keep most of our employees. Our “roots” -I mean our employees-, are our people, almost family, we spend a third part of the day with them, and we have to take care of them. We decided to keep all the work team, except for two co-workers, who already finished their projects at that moment. Today we have more “roots” who joined us in this journey.
At the first time, there were days of uncertainty, but we tried to minimize the impact because everything was hard for everyone, including for our people. We didn’t want that keeping the job at any cost to be an additional reason to worry them. We are sure that this attitude made us a better team, beyond the absence of bad feelings and nice moments in the office.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Fernando Muñoz: Yes, of course. Grupo Raíz Digital has a diverse team in strategic cities of Spain: we have SEO specialists in Madrid, Valencia, Málaga, Córdoba, and Granada. Also, a content and social media team in Madrid, Ourense y Valencia, people who work in account in Madrid, Galicia, and Andalucía…
Our company was already located all over Spain, and we needed to work connected. And we use all the digital tools for it! Trello, Wrike, Asana, Redbooth, Slack, Google Drive, Jira… Sometimes we adapt to the software used by our clients. Also, we use software to video call meetings.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Fernando Muñoz: No, we didn’t receive any.
Your final thoughts?
Fernando Muñoz: Nobody anticipated this pandemic situation. That’s for sure. But, I believe that everything could be done better. Everyone must be conscious about what could contribute to go forward.
We made a huge effort for our team, and that allowed us to keep ourselves afloat easily. We were committed to our clients, many of them without economic income, with whom we continued to work even though we knew they were not going to pay us for those months. We felt that it was our responsibility to keep working.
Being financially independent, without debts, and not depending on the income results, we were able to make decisions that, in other circumstances, would have been impossible. Is our history replicable? How does a Spanish phrase say: “If you want to live my life I’ll lend you my shoes” Having a work ethic is replicable. Being proactive is replicable. But if a pandemic catches you at a low point, you are lost, and there will not be any government that fights for you; you will have to do it.
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